How can the European Union lessen the impact of the recession on older workers : an assessment and recommendations from AGE

The deteriorating economic situation, together with demographic change, are set to radically impact on the organisation of employment and the growth potential of Europe’s labour markets and financial systems. A recent OECD study indicated that older workers, in particular older women, will be among those most affected in the deepening economic crisis and the particular difficulties which these workers face in different work sectors and occupations must be given due attention because the EU economies need their contribution to recover. AGE considers that all levels of governance must take active steps to address the fears and expectations of Europe’s older workers and their increasing sense of precariousness and loss of confidence in the EU and in their Member State’s employment, social protection and financial systems.
AGE has developed a number of recommendations which our members consider would be effective in mitigating the negative impact of the present crisis on older workers. These include the mainstreaming of intergenerational solidarity and cooperation within the employment context and the implementation of initiatives promoting longer working lives such as job sharing and phased retirement. We also stress the importance of retaining the European social model as a safeguard against deeper recession and the need to address the roll-back effect of the crisis on older people who have to support, with their limited pensions, their younger family members who become unemployed. Above all, we highlight the need to return to core values and for Member States to maintain sound governance, and we emphasis the responsibility of the state to guarantee an adequate income for all its citizens, including those who are amongst the most vulnerable such as pensioners or the older unemployed.

 

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